Off to distant shores…

And so my work (for a Swedish company no less!) takes me off to foreign lands. My wife and daughter left behind to keep the homestead and await my return.

Times like this make me think what it meant to the men of days gone 1000 years or more- leaving their loved ones behind and not knowing what dye the Norns had woven for them. They likely had no idea of what they would face other than the likelihood of battle. At least I know what Paris is meant to be like, I have a rough idea of where I am going and am only likely to face a room full of colleagues for a day and a half meeting.

Although I do not battle as in times gone past, I do take the fight for my beliefs with me and part of that is the need to protect the Wights of the land and sea through my work.

May Thor and Frigg watch over my family until I return.

Photos of a Pagan Midgard

Attached are 4 of my favourite photographs that I have taken. All of these scream of the beauty that surrounds us in Midgard and all have something that makes me think of the gods and goddesses.

The top picture is a field in Keldy, North Yorkshire. With a stream and a forest to one side, long flowing grass and a tendency to capture the glow of the evening sun- this field enchanted me at first site. It teams with crows, crickets and butterflies and is a joy to walk through.

The second from top is a picture of the sun shining through a tree one overcast winters day at Bridgnorth, England. I wasn’t even looking for the picture- it was just a case of looking across as I walked to what I intended to photograph and thinking ‘Wow!’ and firing off some shots before the clouds took the shot away.

Next up, second from bottom, is a Yew tree found in the Forest of Dean, late Winter 2012. The tree had some squirrels living in it that were moving around due to the mild winter, but the tree itself had a real wealth of knots and twisting branches that at once let me see why the tree is associated with the dead- it had a real eerie feel and atmosphere. I sat under the tree for some time and took pictures- but all I could think of was the tree from Burton’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ where the headless horseman dwells.

Finally, bottom of the pictures, is a quick heat of the moment snap shot on my video camera of all things- looking out across lake windermere as the swans move, the clouds part just enough for the Sun to light the water and I was stood viewing a scene that took my breath away. I took many pictures around the lake- many of them are brilliantly dramatic, but none have the awe, majesty and mystery of this shot.

My ambition is to travel the British Isles and document significant Pagan sites with photos that are as encapsulating of the inspirational values of actually visiting the place as I can. I will post more as I feel there are things of interest.

Heathen music

Now, I’m a little surprised that I find the following music very much pleasing to listen to- after all, I wouldn’t usually find music themed around a particular subject of interest as I like a variety in my musical tastes…

It began with a quest to find some music non-intrusive, yet suitable for use in the background when preparing blots etc or to raise energies for magickal deeds. What I found was a group named Wardruna and their album Gap var Ginnunga. The album employs traditional instruments native to Norway and the rest of Scandinavia and the music is steeped in the lore of the 9 worlds. As a Heathen or Asator- this album is nothing short of a delight to listen to.

Well, being so impressed I decided to see what other Heathen music was out there…

Sig:Ar:Tyr is a great mix of folk/metal.

Tyr are an amazing band from the Faroe Isles whose albums are steeped in the Lore of the Asa-gods and the Edda’s. They make good use of their heritage within the songs which are classic metal in style with harmonies that sit between Iron Maiden and Rush.

Amon Amarth are a Swedish Death Metal band whose albums and lyrics all revolve around the tales of the Edda’s, the Asa-gods, persecution at the hands of the Christians and the life that a viking would have had 1000 years ago. An amazing band, fantastic lyrical content, brilliant melodies (yes- they are so melodic that they are frequently called a melo-death metal band!). Worth a listen and their are multiple videos on YouTube.

If anyone knows any more music that is rock/metal/folk based I would love to hear your suggestions. Led Zeppelin always leant towards this, but there are so many brilliant musicians taking heathen music to the forefront with their brilliant work. Always the obvious ones like Wagner which I admit form the base of a lot of my music for rituals.